Digital in PA: why?

October 26, 2010

At its very very basest, I’d centre on two arguments:

  1. 93%. In Fleishman-Hillard’s survey of the online habits of MEPs last year we found that they pretty much all use web search every day to conduct research on policy issues (the aforementioned 93%). That in itself is immensely important; and presumably, figures for other politicians, key officials at EU or national level and members of the press are equally unambiguous. Organisations conducting Public Affairs thus need to have a presence online if they want their views to be seen, which in practice requires strategies covering: a) content; and b) visibility to target audiences (especially search, and in most cases, engagement.)
  2. The growing convergence of government relations and bigger world issues and reputation, as represented by this basic visual. Meaning what? That issues that affect public opinion and consequently an industry or organisation’s reputation must be addressed in a government relations context more so than has been the case in the past. Put simply, convincing policy-makers is not enough anymore; you need to persuade numerous stakeholders, and then consequently prove you’ve done so to the policy-makers. In practice, this is far broader than just digital: it involves employing the whole communications toolkit to listen to, reach and engage a far wider set of stakeholders than before. To conclude: mastering policy minutiae and the policy-making process are essential, but PA professionals need to pick a leaf out of the NGO handbook and think like campaigners, on and offline.
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6 Responses to “Digital in PA: why?”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steffen Moller and Jonathan Akwue, Clare McKitrick. Clare McKitrick said: Good post from @steffenmoller on the use of digital in public affairs http://bit.ly/bxEuQT […]


  2. […] just re-read my last post and had a thought. Point two – in which I state that PA professionals increasingly need to […]


  3. […] just re-read my last post and had a thought. Point two – in which I state that PA professionals increasingly need to […]


  4. […] 2.0 also have their own blogs, one of these is our Digital Strategist, Steffen Thejll-Moller.  He writes here about the struggle to implement digital in public affairs, remember: don’t blame it all on the old […]


  5. […] spoken about how PA is shifting before here. James has too over at Bubble to Beltway here. The question is: why are organisations who […]


  6. […] public affairs gerelateerde zaken in en rondom het beleidsterrein van de Europese Unie. Deze blog kent al jaren vele volgers. Fleishman-Hillard Brussel gelooft net als wij dat digitaal de weg […]


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